You may have heard that there were new requirements for school meals beginning with the 2012 year. The requirements continue this year, and this is what students can come to expect in the cafeteria:
Students will now be required to have ½ cup of fruit or vegetables on their tray for it to count as a full meal. In addition, the amounts for fruits and vegetables students can take has increased and students will be able to take more fruit and vegetables than before. However, anything less than a full meal (a tray without a fruit or vegetable) must be charged at a la carte prices. We plan to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables daily to give the students more to select from.
All milk offered, if flavored must be fat-free. We gradually transitioned to fat-free flavored milk by providing fat-free chocolate milk beginning January, 2012 and fat-free vanilla and strawberry milk in April, 2012.
What We’re Already Doing:
All grains offered must be whole grain rich. More than half of all of our grains offered meet this requirement. We must offer vegetables from the following groups each week: dark green, orange/red, and bean/legumes. We then have the option to include starchy and other vegetables. We’ve been working towards this goal by offering more fresh fruits and vegetables, adding greens to our tossed salads, but students will see us continuing to offer beans/legumes weekly and a variety of other colored vegetables during the week to meet the new regulations.
Schools had until 2014-15 to meet the first level of sodium limits. This might be quite a challenge and we will start evaluating sodium in our meals more closely. We expect as manufacturers reformulate some of their products to bring down sodium levels that it will not be a problem to meet this requirement at all. In addition, some of our foods, such as vegetables, may be offered with little to no added sodium, in addition to a reduction in the use of margarine which also has added sodium to help us reach established target levels.
How You Can Help
Encourage your children to try new things at home and school.
Serve a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains at home or encourage your child to eat them when dining out.
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We’re here to help!
Last Modified on August 13, 2015